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Linking Childhood and Adult Criminality: Using a Life Course Framework to Examine Childhood Abuse and Neglect, Substance Use and Adult Partner Violence
Centre for Research on Inner City Health, The Keenan Research Centre in the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute, St. Michael's Hospital, 30 Bond Street, Toronto, ON M5B 1W8, Canada
School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, 2206 East Mall, Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z3, Canada
Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto, ON M4N 3M5, Canada
Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto, 27 King's College Cir, Toronto, ON M5S 1A1, Canada
Department of Public Health, Faculty of Health Sciences, Ben-Gurion University, Beer Sheva 84015, Israel
* Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 29 July 2013; in revised form: 29 September 2013 / Accepted: 1 October 2013 / Published: 28 October 2013
Abstract: Child abuse and neglect, considered criminal acts under the Criminal Code of Canada, play an important role in substance use, violence, and other criminal behaviour in adulthood. We adopted the life course perspective to identify modifiable contextual influences and co-occurring individual, social, and familial determinants associated with adult criminality. Using in-depth interview data, a sub-sample of 13 women who had recently experienced intimate partner violence, recounted their experiences of childhood abuse, their own substance use or criminality, as well as implications of these factors on their children’s life trajectories. For the purposes of this paper criminality was defined as child abuse and neglect, domestic violence, illegal substance use and underage alcohol use. Our objective was to explore, in our data: (1) patterns and trajectories of criminality from childhood to adulthood among women who were victims of violence, and (2) cumulative effects of early life exposures on experiences of criminality; with the aim of describing the life course perspective as a useful framework to understand criminality along the life trajectory. The analysis was not designed to demonstrate causal connections between early childhood and adulthood experiences of criminality. Rather we generated qualitative and quantitative hypotheses to guide future research in the field. Implications for research and interventions are discussed.
Keywords: life course; intergenerational patterns; child abuse; substance use; criminality
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Minh, A.; Matheson, F.I.; Daoud, N.; Hamilton-Wright, S.; Pedersen, C.; Borenstein, H.; O'Campo, P. Linking Childhood and Adult Criminality: Using a Life Course Framework to Examine Childhood Abuse and Neglect, Substance Use and Adult Partner Violence. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2013, 10, 5470-5489.
Minh A, Matheson FI, Daoud N, Hamilton-Wright S, Pedersen C, Borenstein H, O'Campo P. Linking Childhood and Adult Criminality: Using a Life Course Framework to Examine Childhood Abuse and Neglect, Substance Use and Adult Partner Violence. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2013; 10(11):5470-5489.
Minh, Anita; Matheson, Flora I.; Daoud, Nihaya; Hamilton-Wright, Sarah; Pedersen, Cheryl; Borenstein, Heidi; O'Campo, Patricia. 2013. "Linking Childhood and Adult Criminality: Using a Life Course Framework to Examine Childhood Abuse and Neglect, Substance Use and Adult Partner Violence." Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 10, no. 11: 5470-5489.